International Day of People with Disabilities

Friday, December 3rd, 2021, is International Day of People with Disabilities.

The Day was proclaimed in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly. It seeks to mobilize support for critical issues relating to the inclusion of persons with disabilities, to increase awareness for ongoing oppression in many spheres of society, and aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities.

The day is grounded in a recognition that disability inclusion is an essential condition to upholding human rights. According to the United Nations, the commitment to advancing rights of persons with disabilities is not only a matter of justice; it is an investment in a common future and humanity.

A recognition of International Day of People with Disabilities emphasizes the importance of disability justice. Disability justice is a term first developed in 2005 by the Disability Justice Collective, a group of racialized, queer, and trans activists who sought to acknowledge that “ableism helps make racism, sexism, and queer and transphobia possible”, applying an intersectional framework to disability studies.

Disability justice leads us to recognize the interconnection between systems of oppression, and is necessary for a critical examination of systems of ableism in society. It calls on all of us to examine our role in combatting systems of exclusion, and to collectively fight to achieve justice for persons with disabilities.